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MINNEAPOLIS, May 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Piper Jaffray commends its analysts ranked for their stock picking prowess in the Wall Street Journal's annual Best on the Street Analyst Survey. The firm ranked 10th overall among the 80 firms highlighted in the survey. The firms recognized in this year's survey were ranked according to the total number of Best on the Street awards their analysts earned. According to the Wall Street Journal, 230 analysts were ranked this year, though award-winning analysts were selected from a universe of more than 4,000 analysts at more than 230 firms. Of that group, 1,463 analysts met the survey's eligibility tests and qualified to have their research analyzed in detail.

Piper Jaffray Senior Research Analyst Safa Rashtchy ranked No. 1 in the Internet & Technology Services sector. Rashtchy, who was also named to this year's Institutional Investor's Home-Run Hitters list, ranked No. 2 overall among the 10 top-performing No. 1 analysts in this year's survey for his "buy" rating on shares of Ask Jeeves Inc., which returned more than 300 percent in the four months he recommended it.

The following Piper Jaffray senior research analysts were also highlighted in this year's Best on the Street Survey:

     -- Robert (Bob) Napoli, Diversified Financial Services, Ranked No. 3
     -- Mark Marostica, Consumer Services, Ranked No. 4
     -- Eric Larson, Food and Tobacco, Ranked No. 5
     -- Eric Larson, Supermarkets and Drugstores, Ranked No. 5

Larson is one of only 10 analysts (out of 230 eligible analysts) in this year's survey to earn a top-five ranking in more than one category.

"These results, along with recent data from other third parties, such as Forbes/Starmine, show the strides we've made to increase our research quality," said Robert Peterson, head of Investment Research at Piper Jaffray. "This is well-deserved recognition for a very talented analyst group. Congratulations to Safa, Bob, Mark and Eric for providing exemplary advice to our investing clients in 2003."

About the Piper Jaffray Equity Research Department

The Piper Jaffray Equity Research Department has 36 senior research analysts that provide fundamental research on more than 460 companies in four core industries: consumer, financial institutions, health care and technology. These analysts are based in offices in the following locations: Minneapolis, San Francisco, Menlo Park, Calif., New York and Chicago.

Compiling the Best on the Street Survey

According to the Wall Street Journal "analysts' skill in picking stocks was measured using recommendation-performance scores. These scores were calculated by Thomson Financial on the basis of the estimated total return, including price changes and dividends, of each eligible stock an analyst covered in an industry. Total-return data were provided by Thomson Datastream.

"Analysts received credit for being right about 'buy' and 'sell' recommendations. For a stock rated a 'buy,' a positive total return yielded a positive score on that stock, but a negative return produced a negative score. Similarly, for a stock rated 'sell,' a negative total return yielded a positive score while a positive return resulted in a negative score. 'Hold' recommendations did not affect the score. The final performance score also reflects such factors as the number of stocks in an analyst's 'portfolio.' To be eligible, analysts must have been based in the U.S. or Canada. Typically, they worked for the same firm throughout 2003."

Headquartered in Minneapolis, Piper Jaffray & Co., a subsidiary of Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE: PJC), is a focused securities firm dedicated to delivering superior financial advice, investment products and transaction execution within selected sectors of the financial services marketplace. The company operates through two primary revenue-generating segments -- Capital Markets and Private Client Services. Investment Research, an independent group reporting to the CEO, supports clients of both segments. The firm serves corporations, government and non-profit entities, and institutional investors on a national basis and serves the financial advisory needs of private individuals predominantly across the western half of the United States. The firm has approximately 3,000 employees in 111 offices in 23 states across the country and in London, England. For more information about Piper Jaffray, visit us online at .

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SOURCE  Piper Jaffray & Co.
CONTACT:  Dana H. Wade, Public Affairs and Media Relations of Piper
Jaffray & Co., +1-415-277-1556
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